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New Insights in the Moderating Effect of Switching Costs on the Satisfaction–Repurchase Behavior Link

Liane Nagengast, Heiner Evanschitzky, Markus Blut and Thomas Rudolph

Journal of Retailing, 2014, vol. 90, issue 3, 408-427

Abstract: Existing studies on the role of switching costs (SC) as moderator of the relationship between satisfaction and repurchase behavior are inconclusive. We attempt to explain these inconclusive findings by synthesizing an amplifying and a lock-in effect, and hypothesize a nonlinear moderating effect. In Study 1 (a main study and three replications), we find strong evidence for an inverted u-shaped moderating effect of overall SC. Our results suggest that satisfaction is a particularly important predictor of repurchase behavior in situations characterized by medium-levels of SC. Based on Prospect Theory, Study 2 (a main study and one replication) reveals that this inverted u-shaped moderating effect of SC is stronger for positive (relational and financial) SC than for negative (procedural) SC. We conclude with recommendations for satisfaction management of different customer segments, and describe possibilities to influence customer switching costs in various industries.

Keywords: Customer satisfaction; Switching costs; Repurchase behavior; Customer retention management; Hierarchical regression; Prospect theory (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2014
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Handle: RePEc:eee:jouret:v:90:y:2014:i:3:p:408-427